Australia’s Pararoos secured a 2-0 victory over hosts Spain to secure third spot in Group C at the 2019 IFCPF World Cup in Seville on Thursday.
On a special morning (local time) for Kai Lammert’s team, goalkeeper Chris Pyne earned his 100th appearance for the Pararoos – plus kept a clean sheet for good measure – while substitute Matthew Hearne scored his first international goal to secure the three points for Australia.
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Head Coach Lammert kept the same starting eleven as two days prior against Argentina, with youngsters Connor Bunce and Daniel Campbell earning more match minutes at senior international level.
After a goalless first half against Spain, experienced Pararoo Ben Roche opened the scoring with an accurate free kick from range in the 54th minute.
Five minutes later, goalkeeper Pyne produced a cracking reflex save to ensure Spain didn’t draw level, before substitute Hearne sealed Australia’s win with one of the goals of the tournament from distance. After gaining possession on halfway, Hearne fired towards goal, catching Spain’s ‘keeper off his line to double Australia’s advantage.
(All images courtesy of Kenny Bower)
Australia’s win was made even more special given Australia’s most-capped Socceroo, Mark Schwarzer, was in attendance. Schwarzer ventured to the sheds at full time to congratulate Lammert and the Pararoos on their first win of the tournament.
Lammert was thrilled with the win and application of his team following the match.
“It was a hard-fought win against the host nation, and took a massive effort from the boys,” Lammert said.
“We were patient in our build up, but it took a while until we converted all the possession into goal scoring opportunities, and eventually two goals from Ben and Matt.
“We are very happy that we could get a win for Chris Pyne in his 100th game for the Pararoos. I feel very humbled and honoured to be a part of this special moment.
“Chris personifies what this program is all about. He is a role model to all players and staff alike, and an inspiration to all children that want to wear the green and gold,” he said.
After finishing third in Group C, Australia will now play the fourth-placed team from Group D in their next match of the competition at 9.00am (local time) on Saturday morning.
Group D, which consists of Canada, Thailand, Netherlands, and Russia, will play their final group matches early on Friday morning (AEST).
Australia v Thailand
Date: Saturday, 13 July 2019
Location: Seville, Spain
Kick-off: 9.00am (local); 5.00pm (AEST)